Clifford Chance braces itself for claim from Excalibur funders

Clifford Chance has already taken a beating from the courts over the failed $1.6bn Excalibur case. Now the firm is facing a professional negligence claim for its role in the oil rights battle.

The litigation funders bankrolling oil giant Excalibur’s claim have initiated a claim against Clifford Chance for its role in the case, which ended in Excalibur’s dramatic defeat last year.
The firm had already been criticised heavily by Mr Justice Christopher Clarke for producing “voluminous and interminable” correspondence which was “in some circumstances highly aggressive and in others unacceptable”. Clarke J also meted out stinging criticism of Excalibur, which he accused of pursuing “spurious claims” “relentlessly to the bitter end”.

Now the funders are waging battle with Clifford Chance. It follows a hearing last month, when the High Court ruled that the nine third-party funders backing the original case were liable for £23m in indemnity costs.

Withers partner Christopher Coffin represented Psari and Andonis Lemos in that case and is now understood to be representing the Lemos family in the fresh claim, which is still in the early stages.

Just when Clifford Chance thought the Excalibur nightmare was over, a fresh battle commences.

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